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Mihir Gupta, Tiffany M. Chan, David R. Santiago-Dieppa, Anudeep Yekula, Carlos E. Sanchez, Jennifer D. Elster, John R. Crawford, Michael L. Levy, and David D. Gonda


Biopsies of tumors located in deep midline structures require highly accurate stereotaxy to safely obtain lesional tissue suitable for molecular and histological analysis. Versatile platforms are needed to meet a broad range of technical requirements and surgeon preferences. The authors present their institutional experience with the robotic stereotactic assistance (ROSA) system in a series of robot-assisted biopsies of pediatric brainstem and thalamic tumors.


A retrospective analysis was performed of 22 consecutive patients who underwent 23 stereotactic biopsies of brainstem or thalamic lesions using the ROSA platform at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego between December 2015 and January 2020.


The ROSA platform enabled rapid acquisition of lesional tissue across various combinations of approaches, registration techniques, and positioning. No permanent deficits, major adverse outcomes, or deaths were encountered. One patient experienced temporary cranial neuropathy, and 3 developed small asymptomatic hematomas. The diagnostic success rate of the ROSA system was 91.3%.


Robot-assisted stereotactic biopsy of these lesions may be safely performed using the ROSA platform. This experience comprises the largest clinical series to date dedicated to robot-assisted biopsies of brainstem and diencephalic tumors.